26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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18 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers


Raise the Visibility of Your Recipes and Enhance
Your Site with Food
-
Friendly Features

ZipList, Inc.

(www.ziplist.com)




26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

2




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6

SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

Raise the Visibility of Your Recipes and Enhance Your Site with Food
-
Friendly Features


If you’ve been putting off SEO for your food blog, it’s time to hop on the bandwagon,
particularly in light of Google’s Recipe
S
earch,
which de
-
weights unstructured recipes in favor of
th
ose coded in hRecipe

and Schema.org’s recipe format
. Fortunately, it’s not hard to make your
blog more SEO
-
friendly and maintain your findability with the search engines.

These new recipe

format
s

tell Google in no uncertain terms “This is a recipe.” It lets search
engines know that
a post
includes specific ingredients, ratings and cook times, for example, and
therefore should be treated specifically as a recipe.

However, even if you are unable (o
r unwilling) to re
-
code
your recipes, you can still enhance your findability. Search
engines like structure and clear patterns. Content may be
king, but structure is queen. The more your food blog
mirrors a recipe site as de
fined by the biggest on the web



and the more your recipe pages are consistent from page
-
to
-
page


the better they will be
understood, indexed and best of all, found, by search engines

If you do nothing else, however,
take advantage of the following
nine

must
-
do’s for every post
to mak
e them more findable by top search engines, namely Google and Bing.






26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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9

Must
-
Do’s

for Every Post

N
ot in Google
’s

Rich Snippet Format


1.

Keep Your Recipe Titles Consistent Throughout Your Post.

If your recipe is “Black Bean
Casserole,” title your post Black Bean Casserole, have your title tags read Black Bean
Casserole and include Black Bean Casserole in your URL (e.g., www.myfoodblog.com/black
-
bean
-
casserole.html). Keep title tags to 70 charact
ers and put most important words first.

2.

Always Use the words “Ingredients” and “Instructions.”

Whether you use “Instructions,”
“Directions,” “Method” or something else to describe how to prepare your recipe, choose
one heading and use it 100% of the time. It’s confusing to readers to see terms
interchanged, and worse, it creates inconsistency for

search engines which can hurt SEO.

3.

Keep Heading Styles Consistent.

Your post titl
es may automatically appear as
<H1> or
<H2>

tags
, making them appear larger on the page

(which is important for recipe titles).


For sub
-
heads

like “Ingredients” and “Instr
uctions,
” make sure that
you use the same style
for both of them (you may have to manually apply header tags to these headings, based on
your blogging platform). And remember, Google ranks

a larger heading

<H2> as having
more importance than a smaller <H3
> and will get confused to see an <H2> later on in the
post, so make sure that your sub
-
heads are smaller. Good example: <H3>Instructions</H3>.

4.

Use HTML lists for Ingredients and Instructions.


Using HTML list elements such as
bulleted
lists for ingredie
nts (which are “unordered list” <UL> elements) and numbered lists

for
instructions (“ordered list”
<OL>

elements)

help
s

provide both visual and SEO structure to
your recipe posts.
This is as opposed to typing
free
-
form text using <BR> or <P> elements, whi
ch
prevents search engines from differentiating
content on your recipe post. Ordered and
unordered

lists can easily be formatted using
buttons

in your blog editor.

5.

Place Only One Recipe Per Page
. More than one recipe on a page creates a watered
-
down
vi
ew of your content to search engines because they cannot
reliably
determine the focus of
that page. One recipe per page not only increases SEO value, but creates additional page
views, leading to more targeted ads (e.g., Google AdSense)

being served. This
also creates
another doorway to your site, giving the search engines another URL to index.


26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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6.

Call
O
ut Special Sauces on the Ingredients List
.
Some recipes contain ingredients that are “sub
-
recipes,” such as for a special marinade or
glaze. List these ingred
ients in the same
ingredients
section
,
but
call them out with a
sub
-
head
of a different style
with text starting
with the exact words “For the” and ending with
a colon.

For example, “For the glaze:”
If you
have used HTML list elements for your
ingredients as described above, do not place
the “For the” headers inside that element, as
they are not ingredients themselves.


Source:

Steamy Kitchen


“Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe”

7.

Strive for 200
-
700 Words.

The search engines need to read relevant content, so provide
them with enough keyword
-
rich content (more on keywords later) to help your post rank
higher in relevant searches.

8.

Don’t Forget a Meta Description.

The meta description for each post

shows up in search
results just under the title tag. Include the name of your recipe and do not exceed 150
words. This is what people see first before they choose to click on a search result, so make
yours count to enhance your click
-
through rate.


9.

Pay A
ttention to Details.

Never put the Ingredients title over the cooking instructions, nor
the list of ingredients under the Instructions title. It seems obvious, but mistakes happen,

26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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and this small oversight can be detrimental to your placement in search res
ults. Separately,
don’t put non
-
ingredients on the ingredients list, like cook time or yield.

Not only can it
confuse your readers, but search engines don’t like it either. Anything that is inconsistent
or out of place is bad for SEO.

Sadly, in

the world

of Google
Recipe Search,
nothing is better
for your SEO than
coding your
recipes in a compatible format like
hRecipe

or Schema.org’s recipe format
. But
if that is just not
possible
, the simple tips above (which
require

virtually no additional effort) can

bring more
consistency and structure to your recipe formatting to the benefit of your readers and
search
engines alike
.

4 Tips for Optimized Blog Photos


Photos are essential for food and recipe blogs. Here are four must
-
dos to help optimize your
photos t
o achieve success with search engines. Taking these steps will help your recipes appear
higher up both in Google Search and Google Image Search.


1.

Make the First Photo That of the Finished Recipe.
Place the photo of the completed recipe
after the post title and before any description. This increases the likelihood of this photo
getting picked up since search engines will not confuse this photo with any other photos.
The largest recipe sites put thei
r photos at the top and again, you want to mirror the biggest
sites in format as much as possible.



2.

Your Post Title and Photo Name
Should Match.
Both the photo title
and alt text (tag) should exactly
match the name of your blog post,
which again reinfo
rces your content
with the search engines.


Source:

Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

“Homemade Butterscotch Pudding”




Describe Photos Beyond the First Photo in Your Post.
The search engines can’t read
photos, so the alt text is important. Only the first photo s
hould match the recipe; any
subsequent photos should include the recipe name and a brief description of the image.
Here’s how you might name this sequence of photos:


26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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Spanish
-
Stew.jpg


Spanish
-
Stew
-
Cube
-
Round
-
Steaks.jpg


Spanish
-
Stew
-
Cut
-
Pork
-
Shops.jpg


Spanish
-
Stew
-
Brown
-
In
-
Olive
-
Oil.jpg

Source:

$5 Dinners, “Spanish Stew


Vintage Recipe”


4.

Put Dashes Between Each Word When You Save a Photo.
The search engines know each
word is separate when they see dashes (e.g., black
-
bean
-
casserole.jpg).


26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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4 Keyword Best Practices


1.

Research Keywords for Post and Recipe Titles.
One piece of advice you’ll hear over and
over relates to keyword research. For recipe sites, your recipe names
are

your keywords.
You’ll be best served by keyword research when you’ve yet to name your recipe.





2.

Choose Targeted Keywords for Better Conversion.
When naming your recipe, for example,
use a free tool like Google AdWords Keyword Tool to give your recipe
a title that will reach a
more targeted audience. For example, “Quick & Easy Meatloaf” is a good title, but just
“Meatloaf” is a bad title.
Good titles
attract readers more interested in your site who are
more likely to bookmark or sign up for your feed or

email newsletter.


3.

Integrate Keywords into Key Parts of Your Blog Post.
Be sure your primary keywords (your
recipe name, like Quick & Easy Meatloaf) are in your title, meta description and URL, as well
as in your alt text and in any internal links you ha
ve directing readers to this page on your
site. Google no longer uses meta keywords when ranking sites, so it is of less value to add
keywords to this entry box on your blog.


4.

Use Keywords in the First 25 Words of Your Post.
Inserting your keywords into t
he first two
sentences of your post can enhance your search rankings when they pop up in another
place early on in your post, again giving you more authority on the particular topic. It is very
important to include keywords in your paragraph text, not just

titles and headings. You’ll be
more relevant in Google’s eyes.


26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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6 Overall Site Strategies


1.

Own Your Own Blog URL.
Not only is it more professional to have your own domain name,
but you may find that it’s difficult to get listed in directories and even spi
dered by search
engines when you are hosted by a free web hosting service (e.g., myblog.blogspot.com or
myblog.wordpress.com).


2.

Fix Broken Links.
A quality blog that ranks well with search engines has no broken links. If
you use WordPress, you can install

a free plugin called Broken Link Checker that will alert
you to links to be fixed. Or, try Xenu’s Link Sleuth, which finds and fixes broken links on any
platform.




3.

Don’t Let Your Blog Software Auto
-
Create Post Titles.
WordPress, for example, defaults
to
name blog posts as
www.blogname.com/?p=123
. This does nothing for your SEO, so adjust
this setting. You’ll find it in Settings, Permalink Settings. Anything but the “default” or
“numeric” settings is best.


4.

Optimize Your Blog Post Titles.
By default, the title of your blog post is “Blog Name >> Blog
Archive >> Post Title” in WordPress. This also does nothing for your SEO, except dilute your
traffic. Search engines put weight on early words, so you want your k
eywords to be toward
the start of your title.



5.

Use Anchor Text Properly.

Use relevant keywords to link to relevant pages on your site to
enhance your SEO. For example, this is well
-
optimized: Check out my
black bean casserole
recipe
. This is not:
Click he
re

to check out my black bean casserole recipe.



26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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6.

Your Blog Name Should Go After Your Post Name.
In your title tag, you should set the
default setting on your blog so that your blog name either appears at the end of the title tag
or does not appear at all.

For example, “Black Bean Casserole | My Food Blog.”





4 Social Strategies to Enhance SEO


1.

Optimize your Posts for Full Text Feeds.
You should be able to set this up automatically
with your current blog software. Not only are people more likely to read your posts, but
you’ll be able to better incorporate and display important keywords.


2.

Have Multiple Doorways to Get to Your Blog.
Be e
verywhere your readers or would
-
be
readers are, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook
, Pinterest
or StumbleUpon. This will enhance
your traffic and encourage people to link to your site, which can ultimately have a positive
impact on your SEO. Links from trusted
websites are important to search engines and will
enhance your findability.


3.

Help Your Readers Share Your Content.
Make it easy for readers to share and socialize your
content. The free Sociable plugin in WordPress will let you add buttons to the bottom o
f
each post to make it easy for readers to share on social services. Blogger also offers widgets
to help readers share your posts. Google and Bing index social media content in searches, so
if someone tweets a link to one of your posts, it may turn up in s
earch results.


4.

Encourage Social Bookmarking.
Social bookmarking involves saving links to posts on public
websites, like Digg and del.icio.us. Users can follow or share your bookmarks, encouraging
the spread of your content. For new sites, social bookmark
ing can also help get your site
indexed more quickly by the search engines. Creating tags for your content can also help
your search ranking for these keywords.






26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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About ZipList


ZipList is a
market
-
leading online and mobile universal shopping list and
recipe management
service that enables shoppers to create and share grocery lists with family members.
Users can
arrange their lists by aisle or store and can save recipes to a central recipe box. ZipList can be
found on MarthaStewart.com, Simply Recipes,
Skinnytaste, Pepperidge Farm, Ming.com,
Martha’s Everyday Food iPhone app, and on hundreds of popular food blogs.


Recipe Clipper


ZipList makes it easy to add recipes from anywhere across the web to a central recipe box at
ZipList.com. Simply add a
button to your toolbar called

the
Web Recipe Clipper

and
when you
see a recipe you like, click the button
to add the

recipe to your recipe box. See below for a
recipe added from
My Life a
s a Mrs. at
http://www.mylifeasamrs.com/2012/05/pw
-
wednesdays
-
white
-
chicken
-
enchiladas.html
.







Find out more about

ZipList’s Recipe Box
at
http://get.ziplist.com/how
-
it
-
works/find
-
save
-
recipes
.



Free ZipList Recipe Plugin for WordPress


For food and recipe bloggers using WordPress, ZipList
has made available a
free, easy
-
to
-
use
plugin that will
give

your recipes
better structure,
thereby enhancing your SEO and findability.

26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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Even better, the plugin enables your readers to add your recipes to a recipe box and shopping
list right from your site, along with any other

recipes they may find across the web.
You can find
out more about the plugin at
http://www.ziplist.com/recipeplugin
.


Simply download the free plugin and type your recipes into a form within WordPress. Ba
sed on
the open
-
source
RecipeSEO

plugin built by Allison Day, the ZipList Recipe Plugin enables you to
quickly and easily
put your recipes into the Google
-
preferred Schema.org recipe format

required to i
ncrease your search ranking within Google and other leading search engines.


This free plugin also adds a
small
button to your recipe post
s

so your readers can save your
recipes for the future, making them more actionable and helping your readers to find
and make
your recipes again and again. In their recipe boxes, users will find your recipes and ingredients
plus a link back to your recipes for preparation instructions.


For more on ZipList’s Wordpress Recipe P
lugin or to download it now,
please
visit us
on the web
at
http://www.ziplist.com/recipeplugin
. Here is a recent post at
Buns in My Oven

so you can
check out the implementation
:

h
ttp://bunsinmyoven.com/2012/05/30/the
-
very
-
best
-
waffles/

A screenshot is below (see blue “Save Recipe” button).




26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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It’s also easy to customize the look and feel of our free recipe plugin using styling codes or by
working with your designer to create a custom stylesheet so that the plugin output matches
your website.
You can learn more here:
http://blog.ziplist.com/ziplist
-
recipe
-
plugin
-
personalizing
-
your
-
recipe
-
card
-
design/
.

See examples below:


bell’alimento:



http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2012/03/28/sauteed
-
mediterranean
-
deviled
-
egg/




A Farmgirl’s Dabbl
es:

http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2012/03/28/sauteed
-
mediterranean
-
deviled
-
egg/




26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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ZipList Save Recipe Buttons for Any Platform

Not on WordPress or don’t want to reformat all of your recipes but still want to be able to
enable your readers to save your
recipes to a recipe box? No problem.
It’s easy to integrate a
standard or custom Save Recipe button into your recipe posts.
Take a look at a few examples:


Kalyn’s Kitchen:

This food blog is on Blogger, and since Kalyn has good recipe structure it was
no p
roblem for Kalyn to add our blue Save Recipe button to a template so it sits atop each post,
like this post that can be found at
http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012
/05/recipe
-
for
-
lisas
-
cross
-
cultural
-
salsa.html
.








26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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RecipeGirl:
We’ve also worked with bloggers on WordPress to integrate a custom Save Recipe
button created by their designers. Lori at RecipeGirl uses a recipe template cre
ated by Purr, so
custom red
buttons show on posts
like this one:
http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/06/04/tex
-
mex
-
layered
-
salad/
.




Plain Chicken:

Many more food bloggers, like Stephanie at Plain Chicken (on Bl
ogger), choose
to simply paste a strip of code into each recipe post to display the blue Save Recipe button, like
in this post here:
http://www.plainchicken.com/2012/06/cheesy
-
chicken
-
casserole.html
.






26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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If you have any questions about ZipList recipe tools or about best practices with regard to SEO
for your food blog, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at
partners@ziplist.com
.


26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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Additional SEO Resources

General SEO



How to Create a Search Engine Friendly Website
, The Site Wizard

http://www.thesitewizard.com/sitepromotion/search
-
engine
-
friendly.shtml



How to Make Your WordPress Blog Search
-
Engine Friendly,

The
Site Wizard

http://www.thesitewizard.com/sitepromotion/search
-
engine
-
friendly
-
wordpress
-
blog.shtml

WordPress SEO Plugins



8 Excellent WordPress SEO Plugins
, Six Revisions

http://sixrevisions.com/wordpress/seo
-
plugins/



Top 50 WordPress Plugins for 2011 to Zo
om SEO, SMO & Audience Engagement
,

Social Media Today

http://bit.ly/i4yDJ8

Design Consistency



10 Ways to Orientate Users on Your Site
, Webcredible

http://bit.ly/G3iLC



Web Site Interface Style and Consistency Builds Trust
, Pinsonnault Creative

http://bit
.ly/mQZQpU

Keyword Research



Google AdWords: Keyword Tool

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal



WordStream (free trial)

http://www.wordstream.com/keyword
-
research
-
tool



WordTracker (free trial)

http://www.wordtracker.com/



26 SEO Tips for Food Bloggers

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hRecipe
Microformat



Google Adds Support for hCalendar and hRecipe Ri
ch Snippets
,

Microformats

http://bit.ly/dt4ynS



Microformats: Mark Up Your Recipes Online with hRecipe
, SEO Gadget

http://bit.ly/9ON5bO



ZipList Wordpress hRecipe Plugin

http://www.ziplist.com/recipeplugin



WordPress hRecipe Plugin

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/hrecipe/